A young Asian girl nuzzles noses with a tabby kittenA young Asian girl nuzzles noses with a tabby kittenA young Asian girl nuzzles noses with a tabby kitten
BARKS AND MUSINGS

A Trupanion blog

10 New Year’s Resolutions for 2022 (For Your Pet)

By: Brianna Gunter

A brown dog celebrates the new year in style

If you’re making big plans for 2022, you’re not alone. YouGov data shows that over 1 in 4 people make New Year’s resolutions, with health and exercise being the most popular themes. Suffice to say, setting personal goals at this time of year is common among your fellow people, but what about when it comes to your pet?

Turns out, this is a great time for your furry friend to start anew as well. From catching up on extra naptime to stealing the spotlight on human Zoom calls, 2022 holds a lot of opportunities for dogs and cats alike. Now’s your chance to be a helpful human and promote some positive New Year’s changes in Fluffy’s life.

10 New Year’s resolutions for pets

We might not be able to know exactly what our pets are thinking and planning for the next 12 months, but we can take some educated guesses. Here’s a list of New Year’s resolutions for 2022 from the mind of your four-legged family member:

1. Get more playtime

For dogs and cats, playtime is the best time! And it’s not just about fun—regular playtime provides an outlet for energy and stress. In doing so, hours of play every day also helps pets be calmer and better behaved.

To help your dog or cat have more enriching playtime sessions throughout 2022, try providing some unique additions to their traditional pet toys and games. Depending on your furry friend’s personality and preferences, they may enjoy playing hide and seek or doing scavenger hunts, or challenging their brain power with some pet puzzle toys.

2. Chew lots of things

German Shepherd mix chews on a blue and orange fuzzy ball

Both dogs and cats like to chew on things. But just like children get bored with their toys, pets need a little change-up every now and then. Keep in mind that while sticks can be appealing, anything that isn’t specifically designed for pet chewing can actually damage your dog or cat’s teeth and gums. Now’s a great time to check out the best chew toys of 2022 and stock up on something new for your four-legged friend.

In order to make sure your dog or cat is staying safe, always keep a couple chew toys out in the open and store anything they’re not supposed to be gnawing on (like your shoes) away and out of reach. If you suspect your pal has been munching on something toxic or otherwise dangerous for pets, seek veterinary care right away.

3. Smell and look my best

Discovering new smells and wanting to roll in them is exciting for dogs and cats alike, but not so much for their human owners. Regular pet bathing gets your pal back to a fresh state, not to mention helps keep his skin and coat clear of fungus, dirt, dust, and other things that may be detrimental to his health.

While dogs tend to receive rinses more regularly, there are times when cats need baths as well. It’s best to introduce baths when they are still a kitten, as this can help them become more willing later on. You may also want to consider a soap-free pet shampoo or start with fragrance and alcohol-free pet wipes.

If you’ve never bathed a cat before, it’s a good idea to reach out to his or her veterinarian for some additional tips that may help your individual pet.

4. Conquer the vacuum monster

A fluffy gray cat rides atop an automatic robot vacuum cleaner

Dogs and cats alike tend to be fearful of the vacuum cleaner. But it doesn’t have to be this way. This year, you can take steps to help your pet get used to the vacuum cleaner and be more comfortable while you’re using it.

For pets who really just can’t stand the loud noise, you may want to consider investing in a “robovac” or robotic vacuum cleaner. These smaller, quieter vacuums patrol your home autonomously to pick up dirt and debris. While you’ll still want to introduce your pet to one slowly, the less menacing design may save your four-legged friend a lot of stress.

5. Clock in some good naps

Naptime is a major part of life for both canines and felines, and your pet can make 2022 their best year yet by putting in the hours. You can help by providing a new pet bed or blanket, or just making sure there are plenty of nice and cozy spots to choose from for cat naps and puppy snoozes.

Wondering how many zzz’s are enough? According to PetMD, cats sleep an average of 15 hours per day, while dogs sleep an average of 12 hours per day. Both puppies and kittens get more sleep, as do more elderly pets. Larger breeds may also feel the need for more naptime due to spending greater amounts of energy during their waking hours.

6. Earn more treats

If our pets could talk, they’d almost certainly say, “This year, I’m going to get all the treats.” While we’d like to help them fulfill these wild dreams, it’s important to make sure they’re staying healthy. If you’re unsure of how many treats a day is okay for your dog or cat, be sure to talk with their veterinarian. Different breeds, ages, and sizes have different dietary requirements.

The kinds of treats you give matters too. Retailers like Chewy offer a range of grain-free pet treats and veterinary diet treats for your pet. So while you’re helping your furry family member cross off this New Year’s resolution, make sure you’re doing so with healthy pet treats in the right quantities.

7. Become the star of the show

Three kittens hang out on a laptop

Research shows that most people spend the bulk of their waking hours looking at a screen, which means many dogs and cats have to worker harder these days to be the center of attention. As many people who work from home are all too aware, pets who see you focused on a laptop or talking to people through a screen may try to come join in the fun.

To help your pet feel like they’re still the star of the show and keep them from stomping on the keyboard, try to keep them engaged with various activities throughout the day. Your cat may be less invasive if she has a new scratching post to play with, while your dog may appreciate you signing him up with a midday dog walker. And of course, taking breaks now and then from your screens to sneak in extra pets and cuddles is beneficial to both you and your four-legged friend.

8. Make new friends

Visiting the local dog park or going on puppy playdates is a must for dogs who like to socialize (just make sure they’re healthy and current on their vaccines first). As long as all interactions are supervised for safety, making new friends is a wonderful goal to help your pal cross off his 2022 pet New Year’s resolutions list.

While some cats do enjoy kitty playdates, it’s important to note that you should never force socialization on a cat who is unaccustomed to it. Many cats prefer being the sole feline in their territory or will only tolerate other pets who are already part of the household family. You can instead fulfill this cat’s New Year friendship needs by playing with them more and introducing some new toy “friends.”

9. Run, and run, and run some more

Ever have so much energy you just feel like running? Many pets certainly do. Whether it’s your dog dashing circles across the park or your cat tearing around the house, it’s no secret that these animals love to run. Encourage healthy sprints by bringing your pooch to local dog parks and other open, fenced areas where she can safely be off leash. Try setting up some obstacles for your cat to leap and pounce around in the living room. You can also get a leg up on your own New Year’s health resolutions by going for a neighborhood run with your dog.

Speaking of health…

10. Catch up on veterinary care

An amber-colored dog is examined by a female veterinarian.

Just like humans, most pets don’t exactly get excited when heading to medical appointments. But regular veterinary care is crucial for the health and wellbeing of all dogs and cats. And since scheduling vet visits is tough for paws, it’s up to us caring pet owners to make sure our furry buddies get the health care they need.

Whether or not your pet is all caught up on their vaccinations and checkups, they’ll still be due for a veterinary appointment or two in the coming year. Time to get well versed in your pet's veterinary care needs and kick off 2022 the healthy way!

A dog and cat snuggle

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A WORD FROM TRUPANION

Welcome to the Trupanion blog. A place to celebrate pets, pet health and medical insurance for cats and dogs.

This blog is designed to be a community where pet owners can learn and share. The views expressed in each post are the opinion of the author and not necessarily endorsed by Trupanion. Always consult your veterinarian for professional advice.

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